Horror

Under the Shadow

(Babak Anvari, 2016)

<p style="display:inline"><i>Under the Shadow  </i></p><h3 style="display:inline">  (Babak Anvari, 2016)</h3>

Ayatollah Khomeini's portrait gazes over an Iranian bureaucrat and a woman who sits opposite him, slouched in deference. It's Tehran in 1988, and Shideh (Narges Rashidi), a young married mother, wants to resume her medical training. Shideh began medical school at the encouragement of her recently-deceased mother, but was suspended for being “politically active.”

This violation marks her forever, the bureaucrat explains. She can never go back. Though it's daytime and the office is well-lit, her black hijab might as well be made of shadow.

Demon

(Marcin Wrona, 2016)

<p style="display:inline"><i>Demon  </i></p><h3 style="display:inline">  (Marcin Wrona, 2016)</h3>

“He who will not partake in society is either a god or a beast...”

Attempting a toast at a Polish wedding, an old Jewish professor is booed when he intones Aristotle. When another speaker performs Chopin, a young guest – eager for vodka and dancing – shouts “Play something Polish!” With horror and barbed humor, Marcin Wrona's Demon takes aim at a population uninterested in remembering its own haunted history.